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December 22nd, 2016
FTC Hits Targeting Platform Turn Inc. for Deceptive Online Tracking
FTC v. Turn: Keep Your Privacy Promises about Tracking, Retargeting and Opting Out
According to the FTC, Turn participated in a Verizon Wireless ("VZW") program that allowed Turn and its clients to access demographic information about VZW's users. As part of that program, VZW uniquely identified each of its users by appending an "X-UIDH header" to every unencrypted web request of its 100+ million users. Turn then synced that header with other identifiers (e.g., cookies and device identifiers), enabling Turn to track and target users for digital advertising even after the consumer had deleted cookies or reset his or her mobile device advertising identifier.
The proposed consent order: (1) prohibits Turn from misrepresenting the extent of its online tracking or the ability of its users to limit or control Turn's use of their data; (2) requires Turn to provide an effective opt-out mechanism for consumers who do not want to receive targeted advertising; and (3) requires Turn to place a link on its home page that takes users to a disclosure explaining what information Turn collects and uses for targeted advertising.
The Key Takeaways
- They Are Watching You Watch Others. The FTC and other regulators are becoming increasingly sophisticated at understanding the complex technology underlying the digital advertising ecosystem. This case demonstrates the "tech prowess" of the FTC, which successfully unraveled Turn's creation of a "supercookie" through the use of VZW's X-UIDH header. Not bad, FTC.
If you have any questions about online tracking, or other digital media or privacy issues, please contact Jeremy S. Goldman at (310) 579 9611 or firstname.lastname@example.org, Tanya L. Forsheit at (310) 579 9615 or email@example.com, or Terri Seligman at (212) 826 5580 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or any other member of the Frankfurt Kurnit Privacy and Data Security or Advertising Groups.
Other Privacy & Data Security Law Alerts
Privacy Shield: Year One Updates You Need To Know
This month we're celebrating Privacy Shield's first birthday with an update on everything Privacy Shield. There have been a number of developments on the Privacy Shield-front that companies certified or seeking self-certification under Privacy Shield need to know.
October 17 2017
Class Action Lawsuits Over Alleged COPPA Violations Reinforce Importance of Compliance
Earlier this month, three class action lawsuits were filed against companies for alleged violations of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act ("COPPA").
August 22 2017
Third State Adopts Biometric Privacy Law
On June 1, 2017, Washington State joined Illinois and Texas as the third state to pass a biometric privacy law. The law, H.B. 1493, which goes into effect July 23, 2017, covers any business entity that collects biometric identifiers for commercial purposes.
July 11 2017